Make your communication more effective and strategic

Upcoming workshops

Open for registration

Please note that all COMPASS events are currently being held virtually.

Virtual Message Box Workshop

July 8, 2021

1 – 4 pm EDT/10 – 1 pm PDT


Grounded in the latest research on science communication, this 3-hour virtual Message Box workshop will explore what makes people sit up and listen and how to build a meaningful connection with your audience. Becoming a better communicator is a practice, not a destination; wherever you are on your journey, this workshop will provide you with an opportunity to practice communicating strategically about something that matters to you. This workshop is suitable for anyone seeking to make their communication efforts more strategic and relevant for their audience.

Early Bird Registration (through June 18) – $150 USD

Regular Registration – $200 USD


What makes a COMPASS workshop unique?

All COMPASS trainings are grounded in the latest research on science communication and include the Message Box, our signature tool for distilling your message down to what matters. We’ll teach you to find the relevance of your science for the audiences you most want to reach. Another unique benefit of every COMPASS workshop is joining a community of scientists who encourage and support each other to get out of their comfort zones and engage in the wider world. Each workshop is customized to fit your needs, and all of our events are comprehensive, highly interactive, and downright fun.

We create inclusive spaces that are both safe and empowering.

Our flagship workshops incorporate top experts from media, policy, and related fields. Throughout our time together, you will have lots of opportunities to workshop your messages and talk about your research with experts, COMPASS staff, and your peers in a supportive setting. You’ll build your competence, your courage, and your connections.

Our Team

Trailblazers in science communication

Signature Workshops

Customizable trainings

Please note that all COMPASS events are currently being held virtually.

Contact Us About Training

We’re constantly innovating to better meet the needs of the scientists we work with. Wondering whether we can create something that’s just right for your group? Please contact us at

Additional Opportunities

I’ve been engaging with external audiences about my research on controversial forest management issues for nearly 40 years, but this was the best opportunity I’ve had to participate in a critical evaluation of the whole communication process with a group of research peers and media experts… Simply hearing what a ‘day in the life of a journalist’ is like will change the way I react to the next email or phone request for an interview.

~ Dr. Tom Veblen, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder

Four well-known, leading reporters accompanied COMPASS and helped with the workshop. These leading journalists discussed how the media is changing and the importance of communicating science to the public and to policymakers. They shared their personal perspectives on what makes a good science story and how to get our stories told.

~ Dr. John Reganold, Regents Professor, Washington State University

This is not just another communication training. COMPASS brings tools and techniques, but also the opportunity for intensive practice with nationally known journalists. And scientists trust COMPASS: their staff were trained as scientists, so they have an understanding of our perspective and experience. Because they know the science, they never asked us to change our message, but helped us translate it for different audiences.

~ Dr. Diana Wall, Director, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Colorado State University

COMPASS was a tremendous force multiplier of my ability to communicate my science effectively and compellingly. I use some aspect of my COMPASS training literally every single week.

~ Dr. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, Esri

I learned a new identity for myself, that I can be a good scientist and a good citizen at the same time.

~ Michelle del Rio, PhD Student, University of Texas

You know your COMPASS training worked when a congressional staffer repeats your message back to you more than a year later!

~ Dr. Jennifer Balch, Director, Earth Lab; Associate Professor of Geography, University of Colorado Boulder

Having someone with a critical eye who knows the science but also how things work on Capitol Hill, someone who can say ‘that’s too much jargon' or explain the proposed legislation or the constraints—that’s an invaluable service that COMPASS provides.

~ Dr. Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

It was a big eye opener hearing from the journalists that my passion for the topic is a part of the story. I've always thought that my science should be kept separate from me as a person. So one of the most valuable things for me from the training is realizing we can't be afraid to be an individual, even if we represent an agency.

~ Dr. Libby Jewett, Director, Ocean Acidification Program, NOAA

Tools & Resources

Online resources